Once you share the news of your pregnancy in your circle, many friends and family members will be eager to share their tips and experiences. These tips might seem very useful; still, they can be very overwhelming, especially if this is your first pregnancy. You might find it hard to decide what to follow and what to ignore.
Nevertheless, even in this jumbled state of mind, you are always sure about one thing: to keep your unborn baby healthy from the day you get the news. But doing so requires you to make healthy choices. Below are some tips from experts that might help you ensure a healthy pregnancy.
- Never miss your prenatal appointments
Even if you got to know about your pregnancy with the help of a home-based pregnancy strip, you should consult an obstetrician to confirm the news through screenings and tests.
Upon visiting your healthcare provider, you will get a timetable for weekly and monthly appointments. Following this timetable is the first step to keeping your unborn baby healthy. During each visit, if required, your doctor conducts tests to monitor your baby’s development. If anything is amiss, your doctor can take immediate action, preventing the problem from ballooning into a serious issue.
Your doctor is also responsible for telling you about any complications related to your pregnancy and their effect on your baby’s growth and safety. But in some cases, the doctor fails to recognize a problem resulting in any minor or severe harm (birth injury) in your child before, during, or after childbirth. In that case, you can get legal help from trusted organizations such as the Birth Injury Justice Center. Visit its online website, an excellent source for providing extensive information on types and treatments of birth injuries and legal help.
However, birth injuries are not always the result of medical negligence; often, your ignorance is the culprit. When you frequently miss your appointment with the obstetrician, many problems stay invisible until their later stages, impacting your child’s health. Therefore, as parents-to-be, you must take these prenatal appointments seriously.
- Read books
Nothing is better than getting advice from experts who support their views with evidence. Instead of being wrapped up in the mumbo-jumbo of the internet (unless it is from a credible site, but how you would know!!), it is better to stick to bookish texts.
Read a few pregnancy-related books to know what you can expect when you are expecting. They will give you a heads-up about the symptoms and situations you might face during pregnancy.
If you are not inclined to get help from pregnancy-related books or experience an information overload that makes you stressed, read any literature you like.
Reading while pregnant has many benefits for the baby. It develops the bond between your unborn child and the mother. Beyond that, reading to the baby in the womb helps promote language learning and increased word recognition.
A baby who has been read to during pregnancy has better senses and brain development. As the baby develops inside the womb, reading to them feels like talking to another human being.
- Eat the right kind of food
Diet is important for keeping you and your unborn baby healthy during pregnancy. As the baby gets all the nutrients through their mother, it receives a share of what the mother eats. It also means that you must eat your baby’s portion too. However, it does not mean doubling the food you usually eat.
A rule of thumb for an average pregnant woman is to consume 300 more calories every day. You might also be advised to put on about 25 to 30 kgs more weight during this time. The exact number depends on your weight, physical activity, and lifestyle.
Consuming a balanced healthy diet means providing your baby with all the essential nutrients in the correct quantity. Ensure your diet plan includes the right amount of proteins, carbs, healthy fats, and vitamins consumed through fruits, vegetables, poultry, dairy, meat, whole grains, etc.
Apart from eating healthy food, some precautions you must take during pregnancy are the following:
- Don’t eat undercooked or raw food, especially meat.
- Don’t eat more than three servings of fish every week. Also, avoid eating fish such as king mackerel, shark, or swordfish, as they usually have a high level of mercury in them.
- Wash all the fruits and vegetables before eating them. Also, cut them on a clean cutting board with a clean knife.
- Dairy products provide calcium. Eat an ample amount of dairy daily—at least four servings.
- Consult your doctor before taking medications
Medications taken during the gestation period can reach the baby’s system by crossing through the placenta, affecting its development. Some medicines are so detrimental that they can cause the loss of pregnancy, prematurity, etc. Therefore, talk to your doctor before taking any medications, including regular pain relievers. The same rule applies when taking over-the-counter medications during the gestation period.
Some doctors even caution mothers about using home remedies. Just because they are made of natural ingredients does not mean they are without side effects.
Indeed some medications and therapies are considered safe and effective for pregnant women for relieving many uncomfortable effects of pregnancy. Still, you must talk to your doctor before using them.
- Take vitamins and minerals
A pregnant woman needs to take the required daily dose of iron, calcium, and folic acid for the proper growth and development of various aspects of the baby.
Folic acid ensures the baby is born without brain and spinal cord-related birth abnormalities. A gestational woman needs approximately 400 mcg of folic acid every day.
Calcium is also essential for the baby. Calcium helps with bone development in the baby. If the expectant woman doesn’t take enough calcium, the baby will still fulfill its daily requirement by extracting it from the mother’s bones. This is why many women complain about weaker bones and joints during and after pregnancy.
Things like consuming an unhealthy diet, taking medications without a prescription, etc., can cause growth deficiencies and birth abnormalities in the baby. Therefore, pregnant women must be careful during the gestation period, as their lifestyles directly affect their babies. Some of the ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy are mentioned above. Reading through them will be helpful if you are pregnant or planning to conceive.